Bentonite for Ponds

Bentonite for Ponds

The #1 Solution for Water Seepage

In 2021, using bentonite for ponds is considered the best solution for water seepage and water leaks. Bentonite is very efficient for pond lining, 100% safe for fish and wildlife ponds, and a low cost and low maintenance material that will be worth your investment. It can be used in dry or wet environments, for small ponds or artificial lakes that are several acres big, for shallow ponds or deep ponds…

Its versatility has gained bentonite the nickname of “mineral of a thousand uses” and today we will go over some applications of bentonite for ponds.


Sodium Bentonite for Ponds

Application #1: Pond Liner

One of the best applications of bentonite for ponds is using it as a pond liner. While bentonite is not the first idea that might pop to mind when you’re thinking of a pond liner, let me assure you it has all the advantages of a rubber pond liner, without having the risk of punctures or tears. What about animals, you ask? Ideal for cattle, livestock and other heavy animals, because it blends in with the ecology of your pond and it will support their weight without issues. It is also absolutely safe for any wildlife you may have around, amphibians, fish, birds, insects, etc. And no, it won’t damage the vegetation inside or around your pond or lake.

When building a new pond, consider using bentonite as a pond liner. Often, ponds need to be located at a spot where the composition of the soil is not ideal, leading to a high permeability that causes a fast loss of water. To prevent this issue, for porous soils with low clay content, add sodium bentonite for ponds, therefore reducing the permeability of the soil and keeping the water inside the pond. Bentonite is also cost effective compared to other pond liners, which require a similar investment but will require higher maintenance throughout the years.

If you already have a pond in your property and you think it may be leaking, look for spots that are wet around the pond and for patches of vegetation that are out of season. Both are indicators of a pond that is leaking water through the underground. In those cases, it is recommended to drain the pond and apply bentonite as a pond liner, to prevent this from happening again in the future. There are documented cases of bentonite pond liner lasting for over 5 decades, without having to be provided any huge maintenance during that time.

Lonestar Minerals has been building ponds and applying bentonite pond liner for over 20 years all over the USA. Our company is a sodium bentonite wholesaler, specialized in bentonite for ponds. Get a quote today for bentonite for your pond or for the full service of bentonite pond liner application.

farm pond with bentonite pond liner
Installing Benonite pond liner on a new pond

Application #2: Pond Sealer / Pond Sealant

As mentioned in The problem of leaky ponds “if you already have a leaky pond in your hands, you need to ask yourself the following questions: What’s the pond’s intended use?  How severe is the leak? Is the seep along the dam or the basin?”

Many ponds are built for a reason and, more often than not, that reason is functional. When your pond starts to leak, you may have bigger problems than just a low water level. Some signals that your pond is leaking or seeping water, besides the obvious reduction in the water level, may include small puddles outside the basin area and vegetation patches that are out of season.

The first step is always trying to locate the leak. Isolating the leak usually makes the fix less expensive, as only a particular part of the pond needs to be attended to. When the leak is localized, granular bentonite is the best recommendation and it can be used without draining the pond. Granular bentonite can be either deposited on the surface of the water to sink to the ground and deposit itself inside the cracks, holes or gaps or, it can be applied as a slurry that will flow through the leak, depositing the bentonite inside the cavities as it flows. To find out the best method for your particular case, contact us today to get a free quote to fix your leaky pond.

Or… If you want to do it yourself, get a quote for bulk bentonite here.


How to Apply Bentonite for Ponds

We can’t stress enough the importance of the application of bentonite clay. Application is key for success. It is the difference between a full pond for years to come or headaches year after year. While we provide a quick application guide here, contact us if you need more information about applying bentonite pond sealant or if you have any questions about bentonite clay.

There are 3 methods used to apply bentonite pond sealant to a pond:

The Blanket Method

This method for bentonite pond sealant application is probably the most popular, as its effectiveness is quite high. The pond needs to be dry (or almost dry) in order to apply the bentonite.
The first step in this method is to remove debris and unwanted material from the bottom surface of the pond. Depending on the size of the pond, it could be done by hand or using machinery to aid the process.
Once this step is finalized, remove 5-6 inches of soil from the bottom of the pond, we will put them back in later. If your pond is big enough to use machinery, make sure you keep the soil close to the edges of the pond, so it is easy to put it back later.
Now it’s time to apply a layer of the sodium bentonite pond sealer, as evenly as possible throughout the pond bottom. Create a nice even blanket with the pond sealant and proceed to cover it with the soil you removed in the earlier steps.
Now it is ready to be filled with water. Avoid disrupting the layers created before, making sure the water flow is gentle.


The Mixed Blanket Method

This method draws its name from the fact that is similar to the above. It is used in cases where the integrity of the bentonite layer may be compromised due to weather or other environmental conditions.
As before, the first step in this method is to remove debris.
Then we will need to prepare the soil to receive an even coat of bentonite by raking or disk harrowing about 6-8 inches of soil.
Apply an even bentonite layer and mix it into the soil by raking or tilling to create a single layer of bentonite-soil mix about 6-8 inches deep is created.
Press the layer in, to compact the mixed materials as much as possible.
Ready to fill. Make sure you do so with a steady water flow to avoid eroding the layer you have just created.

Bentonite Mixed Blanket Method

The Sprinkle Method

Quite often a customer will contact us to report the pond’s dam is leaking. In those cases, a possible solution to this problem is a spot treatment, which is a variant of the sprinkle method but applied only in the identified area around the dam that is leaking. It doesn’t apply only to the case with the dam, any case where you have a single point of leakage may be treated with spot treatment.
This method is used when, for any reason, the pond can’t be drained. Use granular bentonite and sprinkle the granules over the surface of the water. Distribute the bentonite as evenly as possible around the area that needs to be treated. The granules will sink to the bottom of the pond, where they will seep their way into the ground to fill holes, gaps, and crevices that may be found at the bottom of the pond. Then they will swell, effectively preventing water seepage.


Ready to get started?

So, now you know what is bentonite, where to source it, and how to apply it. Time to get your hands dirty. If you have any questions or concerns about your particular case, contact us. Our experts can help you obtain the best possible results.

Lonestar Minerals offers you, as additional services, the Pond Repair, Pond Design, and Pond Construction services, nationwide.